Back in 1986, I had the good fortune to interview Joe Barbera at his corner office at the Hanna-Barbera Studio on Ventura Blvd in Los Angeles.
The savvy TV producer/studio head was 75 at the time and had plenty to talk about. He was getting offers to make live-action feature films based on The Flintstones, The Jetsons and Jonny Quest. He had a new, animated Bible series to promote on Home Video. He insisted that ABC, CBS and NBC would stick with his main bread and butter, Saturday morning cartoon shows.
I found the original cassette tape of that conversation. While it is a little fuzzy, hearing Barbera's passion for what he and partner Bill Hanna had accomplished in pioneering the field of television animation is still definitely worth a listen. Wait till you hear his story of how he sold TV's first prime time animated series, The Flintstones.
Barbera passed away at 95 in 2006. The studio he established has been sold several times and even the studio headquarters is long gone. Fred and Barney and George Jetson and Yogi Bear and Scooby-Doo and the Smurfs live on, however.
Please enjoy this From the Vault episode with Joe Barbera.